DARREN GOUGH'S career has advanced in such strides this summer that it is easy to forget that he is still a relative novice in the pace bowling trade.
Capped by his county only last year, his fifth season, Gough will be 24 when he celebrates his birthday a week tomorrow, young enough still to be excused if he sometimes lets headstrong youth hold sway over the advice of his elders and betters.
There have been signs of this in his cricket lately, when he has tended to bowl too short to be particularly effective, at least compared with the early summer.
However, yesterday, for whatever reason, Gough recalled the virtues of pitching up and tore out Surrey's heart here with an exhibition which will place this among his most satisfying days so far.
Either side of tea, Gough claimed five wickets for six runs in eight electrifying overs, bowling as well as he has since the Old Trafford Test against New Zealand in early July, the game which established his England credentials.
His first 13 overs yesterday conceded 46 runs but his reversion to a fuller length in his third spell brought immediate reward. Alec Stewart was comprehensively bowled by his fourth delivery and, with a stiff breeze helping the ball swing, Gough followed up in his next over by drawing Martin Bicknell into an edge to second slip, which left Surrey 173 for 4 at tea, having once been 159 for no wicket.
The partnership between Bicknell and Mark Butcher had given Surrey their best start of the season, scoring at four an over on an easy-paced pitch, but the continuation of Gough's assault reduced them to 185 for 7, Alistair Brown defeated by a genuine yorker, David Ward and Andy Smith by two consecutive balls pitched well up. James Boiling survived the hat-trick attempt and as Gough took a breather he and Adam Hollioake proceeded to dig Surrey out of their hole, much to Yorkshire's frustration.
Hollioake, an all-rounder who has so far impressed most with the bat, completed an accomplished half-century as the immediate target of 230 to avoid the follow-on was surpassed in unexpected comfort.Reuse content